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Two Vehicle Crash on I-780 Leaves Eric Deleon Sopang, 29, Dead and 29-Year Old Woman Injured

Shortly after midnight on Saturday April 26, 2014, a two-car collision in Benicia on Interstate Highway 780 claimed the life of a 29 year-old man and left a 29 year-old woman injured.

According to a press release from the California Highway Patrol, the accident occurred around 12:40am just west of the Highway 680 connector on westbound highway 780. The man fatally injured in the crash, identified by investigators as 29 year-old Eric Deleon Sopang, was pronounced dead at the scene. Sopang was also identified by police as a driver of one of the vehicles involved. A Vallejo resident, identified only as a 29 year-old woman, was a passenger in Sopang’s vehicle and suffered a broken arm in the accident. A third passenger in the vehicle was not injured.

Authorities say the Toyota Camry driven by Sopang was traveling at approximately sixty-five miles per hour when he proceeded to lose control of the car and slammed into a guardrail, which then sent him spinning into the west-bound lanes of highway 780 into oncoming traffic. The Camry was then struck by a Kia Rio travelling west-bound. A 30 year-old Vallejo woman, identified as the driver of the Rio, was not hurt in the crash.

Traffic coming in and out of the Benicia-Martinez Bridge was disrupted between the I-680 and I-780 connector while authorities closed off traffic in both directions, reopening the highway a little after 3:00am.

Officers with the Highway Patrol are at this time looking into whether or not a medical condition suffered by Sopang while driving may have contributed to him losing control of the vehicle. Officials also say that drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a factor in the fatal collision, although the cause of the wreck continues to be investigated.

While the cause of this tragic accident has as of yet not firmly been established, it is just another example of how tragedies can happen on our roadways. Every day there are thousands of news reports about crashes involving fatalities and/or injuries, such as this one. The most common causes of these kinds of crashes are excessive speed, careless or reckless driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, less than favorable weather conditions, failure to comply with stop signs and stop lights, inexperienced drivers, driving in the evening or nighttime hours, negligence of vehicle maintenance, vehicle design defects, and drivers changing lanes without regard for the safety of themselves or other drivers. Again, these are the most common factors that contribute to auto accidents, but the list goes on and on.

No matter what, in fact, the cause of this terrible, tragic crash in Benicia turns out to be, and no matter what the contributing factors are in any of the other thousands of auto accidents resulting in fatalities and/or injuries that happen every day, the resulting effects are the same: a long, hard road of recovery for the victims.